Author: Flying Fish Charters
December 2018 Lower Keys Fishing Report
Welcome back to the Lower Keys Fishing Report, we are currently dealing with cold front conditions here and it looks like more wind for the weekend. It will be warmer here over the weekend, but the wind will be 15-20mph, starting out of the east on Saturday and moving more south on Sunday. The tuna bite continues to be great offshore, the guys trolling have been hooking them early in the day, but if you have good live baits, you can get them to eat anytime. The wahoo bite died out this week, the green water pushed in around the outer reef bar and that most likely pushed the wahoo out. There have been some decent sized mahi mahi around too. Its rare to catch them as regularly as we are now in December, but I found a few different schools under frigate birds the past few days. I also heard of some big mahi being caught on the troll way out in the deep.
The shallow patch reefs are also starting to pick up now that the water is cooling off. I have been fishing the patch reef on the south side when we have a good north wind and the fishing has been good. Some kingfish are starting to show and there are plenty of spanish and cero mackerels around. The mutton snappers are moving in too, we caught a few the other day. The ballyhoo have also been coming in on the chum line, so have your cast net ready. Live ballyhoo are excellent bait for the surface fish and bottom fish. When I’m fishing for the muttons on the bottom, I like using long leaders of 40lb Bullbuster Flourocarbon, in order to make that live bait look like its swimming freely.
The backcountry fishing has been decent this past week. When we are having warmer weather, we were still seeing some bonefish around. The size of the bonefish schools are getting smaller, but the fish in the schools are big. On the colder days we are seeing more barracudas on the flats. The barracuda bite has been getting better during the cold fronts. Also, the action in the basins has been excellent, there has been plenty of trout, jacks and snappers. That may be a good idea this weekend if the wind is going to be blowing, you can find protection from the wind and still catch some good fish.
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